As the holiday approaches here at FMF, and the long weekend will be upon us, I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who participated in the Guest Mix Series, and with any luck, we’ll do it again next year with all new Guests who will have a hard time filling the big shoes of the selectors from this Series. Our artist today is no stranger to to guesting on records as well as releasing some great sides of her own. Here is the original Clean Up Woman Betty Wright with “Baby Sitter” on Alston Records. I might note that this is a favorite of the Devil Dick, who turned me on to this side some time ago.
Born in Miami, FL in 1953, Betty Wright has been a staple on the Miami music scene from day one. Startin gout in the Gospel group Shades of Joy, Wright would move on as a background singer before eventually settling into her own with her release of “Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do”. She kept plugging away and released her most famous side “Clean Up Woman”, the side that spawned response songs, not to mention sampled in the 90’s by Biggie and Mary J. Blige. Wright was not stopping, and by 1974 had won a Grammy for “Where Is the Love?”. She continued to record, release consistent records, and even teamed up with Stevie Wonder in the early 80’s for “What Are You Gonna Do With It?”. She still records to this day, and has lent her golden voice to records by Erykah Badu to Jimmy Cliff to David Byrne and more.
“Baby Sitter” spins a tale of losing your man, to none other than the babysitter. It’s an upbeat number, that has a terrific bass line, tight drumming, a horn section to die for, and who can forget the harmonica playing along to “Rock a By Baby”! Produced by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke, you know that this side could not be bad. It’s some fuuunky ass Soul my friends. It’s an excellent example of what Betty Wright was capable of doing in the early 70’s. The Miami Sound was hot, and Henry Stone’s stable of record labels was putting out hit after hit. Betty Wright was no exception, and proves once again on this track that she was a definite Queen of Soul. I’ll be back over the weekend with a Digging report, and let’s not forget the Guest Mix Series on Monday with Carolina Funk’s Jason Perlmutter. Keep Diggin’!